PURSUING ZERO IMPACT
The pursuit of zero impact furniture, challenging as it is, inspires Model No. everyday. Unrelenting high standards for sustainability and quality for our products, our materials, our suppliers, production processes, shipping, and storage often collide with tradition and deep-rooted systems prevalent in the furniture industry.
Broken and big as the furniture business is, we are unbroken in our pursuit of a making better furniture for a better planet. Finding and formulating materials that are clean, easy to make, perform, biodegrade, and eliminate negative impact on people and our environment motivates everything we do. Challenging perhaps, but idea sits at the center of everything we do at Model No. This is where we start.
We seek to make our materials and production processes as clean as possible for our homes and our planet. We examine every aspect of the materials and their suppliers, weighing in detail their processes and the impact on a product’s performance, manufacturing processes, people, and the planet.
Model No. has big aspirations when it comes to clean material. We are relentlessly committed to removing all petroleum-based material, hardwood from questionable sources, metals and related hardware that do not use recycled material, and finishes, adhesives, oils, varnishes and other treatments that off-put harmful gases.
Our hardwoods come from certified sustainable sources for timber. Our biodegradable polymers, a replacement for plastics and other toxic resins, are upcycled from plant waste. Adhesives, sealants, and finishes are water-based and made from natural material with ultra-low volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We use eco-friendly fabrics and veg-tanned leathers which are upcycled from recycled leather. Our metals are also 100% recycled.
And all of this still produces the same durable and elegant furnishings you want for your home.
As 90% of traditional furniture is produced and imported from overseas, we do everything domestically and, in the process, cut significant and harmful carbon emission and other toxic output accepted as normal business practice by traditional furniture companies.
We design, source, produce, and sell all Model No. furnishings in the U.S.A. in our first micro-factory in Oakland, California. This facility employs leading clean technology and production processes including proprietary 3D printers and in-house digital fabrication processes. Even as we use this leading technology, we hand-finish each piece to achieve the ultimate combination of high-tech and high-touch manufacturing.
At the moment, this micro-factory serves consumers in the U.S. market only. As we expand, we plan to open additional micro-factories to remain close to source and the consumer.
We only use hardwoods certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FCS). FSC employs the most rigorous standards for sustainable harvesting, responsible forest management, and contribution to local communities. We compliment this supply with local reclaimed options from blight, fires, and other environmentally related events.
PLANT-BASED BIODEGRADABLE POLYMERS
Unlike traditional furniture companies, we eliminate petroleum-based material in our furnishings. Working closely with selected material science partners, we substitute toxic petroleum-based materials with biodegradable polymers formulated and upcycled from plant and timber waste.
We use two biodegradable polymers - Ingeo and Wood Print. Starting with plant and timber waste from sustainable agricultural sources, the material is reduced and turned into pellets that 3D printers easily process into products that meet our high standards for performance.
We prefer not to add inks and dyes into our polymer. We do use some traditional pigments to make our colors in our Ingeo polymers. Our Wood Print polymer uses the natural color of the woods mix.
RECYCLED ALUMINUM & STEEL
Metals are endlessly recyclable. We use only recycled materials and highly recyclable metal materials in our products. From our durable base layers to cam locks to fasteners, we only use metal parts from reputable and trusted suppliers.
NON-TOXIC, WATER-BASED FINISHES, SEALANTS & ADHESIVES
On wood products, we use up to four types of finishes, sealants, and adhesives. As much as possible, we source and select non-toxic, water-based, and low Volatile Organic Compounds (V.O.C.s) which are known to have harmful health effects in our homes.
Waterborne Alkyd Varnish is the latest technology in water-based hybrid coatings for interior and exterior wood finishing applications. It has low V.O.C.s. so you do not need to be concerned about potentially harmful health impacts in your home.
Varnish Oil is a natural mix of linseed oil and natural pine resin that is the ideal finish for high-quality, interior furniture, table, and countertops. It has superior abrasion, scratch resistance, and durability.
Eco-Flo Leather Weld Adhesive is a high strength, water-based, and low V.O.C. bonding agent used to bond our chosen leather materials to wood and other materials.
Eco-Epoxy sealer is 29% bio-based content and USDA BioPreferred Certified material. We use this in small amounts when we need to make something to be 100% watertight, such as in our vases and planters. Like all of our materials, we are constantly searching for more eco-friendly sealers.
RECYCLED, ECO-FRIENDLY TEXTILES
We currently use two kinds of leather including a material recycled from scraps of leather waste from glove manufacturing and veg-tanned leather. Tanning is a necessary process to make leather workable. The veg-tanning process is a non-toxic eco-friendly alternative to traditional heavy metal tanning. Textiles are among the more challenging materials in terms of sustainability. We continue to seek textiles that meet our high standards for sustainability including such innovative materials as vegan leathers made from cactus and apples.
Our packaging is as clean as our furnishings. We aim to keep packing materials to a minimum with all of our shipments. However, our furnishings also require the highest level of care when shipping them to you. To protect them and our planet, we use biodegradable peanuts, recycled cardboard content boxes, recycled paper and paper packing tape, among other 100% recycled, recyclable, and biodegradable materials in our packaging.